Chunky Little Manatee

Many people don’t know that manatees are closely related to elephants. In fact, if you look closely at a manatee’s flipper, you’ll see the remnants of nails and toes that resemble an elephant’s foot. Under an x-ray, they even look like human hands. Pretty cool.

myfwc.comManatee flipper under x-ray

Here in Brevard County, we are fortunate enough to see Florida manatees fairly often in the Indian River Lagoon (brackish water), and in nearshore coastal waters by way of going in and out of local man-made ship inlets.

They are also known as “sea cows” because they move slowly, but they are VERY powerful. I’ve gotten knocked off my paddleboard more than a few times by a manatee. Hey, they didn’t want ME on their lawn….I don’t blame ’em.

I still love manatees, and they’re a good indicator of the health of the Lagoon system, which is obviously very sick and toxic currently, heading into a state of eutrophication sadly.

So I wanted to share some of of this fun info with you, plus a pattern I made up to make your own little chunky manatee Amigurumi toy! It helps to know basic single crochet in the round for this pattern. Add a loop of heavy thread on top to turn it into an ornament for the holidays. Manatee Tree. Freakin’ cool.

Chunky Little Manatee Pattern (PDF file)

Stuffing the body of the manatee

Sewing the tail closed

Making the flippers

Fluke view

Front view

Manatees are cute, so they might get people’s attention.

I’d love to see this

Eidon presents the 20th Sisters of the Sea Surf Classic

Each year, I like to go to an all women’s surf contest in Jacksonville, Florida. The Sisters of the Sea Surf Classic is an amateur surf contest to raise money for Breast Cancer Research, which is the philanthropic cause of the Sisters of the Sea of Jacksonville.

Trophy tent at Sisters of the Sea Classic

Surfboards being raffled off

And, they have NICE raffles. I freakin’ love raffles. It’s a horrible pleasure, but silly fun for a recovering statistics nut.

One of my best friends Karen (follow her on IG: @cbsurfkaren) went with me since she’s a GREAT photog, and this is always a big surf event, usually with over 150 women competitors, but lots of spectators, photographers, and gawkers.

Not so stoked about that, but I’ve got to “suck it up, Buttercup.” Outta that comfort zone, brah.

In surfing competitions, surfers will paddle out in groups of 4 or 5 at a time (called a heat), and attempt to catch as many (up to 10) quality waves within those 15 minutes. We had waves this Saturday, but they were on the smaller side and a bit closed out for me. I managed to catch my two wave minimum, but the far more talented ladies in my heat were catching wave after wave! I tried for a couple of more, but got caught in the rinse cycle. Oh well, I was gettin’ the exercise in, ya know….

Me tryna surf

I really love my new FunJun!

No more freakin pics….

So, I didn’t win a medal, but dead last in my heat. Boo. BUT, it was a fun beach day- encouraging women to take up surfing, and supporting the Women’s Center in Jacksonville. I think I’ll live knowing I didn’t “slay.” I’ll slay another day. Or whatever.

We had to leave early to head back home, but a friend of mine called Saturday evening to let me know I won something in the raffle. Booyeah.

Hey- need not be present to win, AND my dear friend brought it back for me.

Winner, winner, chicken dinner.

9’1” super light longboard. Schweet. I LOVE raffles.

Big Blue Button Amigurumi

Jellyfish are often misunderstood creatures in Florida, especially since they often hurt surfers with stings that range from annoying to scream worthy.

I’ve had my fill for a lifetime, believe me.

In actuality, many of these “jellyfish” are groups of polyps clinging together, drifting with the ocean’s currents. These type are known as Chondrophores, which include the Man O’ War, a particularly famous critter that gives humans a painful sting. However, there are other types of unique Chondrophores here in Florida that don’t pack quite the wallop.

Blue Button

Blue Buttons are part of this group, and can be found in Florida quite often. They are small (usually only 1-2 inches in diameter), but they are beautiful to look at. So, I decided to make a jumbo, huggable version out of yarn. Just because, of course.

Below I’ve shown a bit of my process in pictures for those into amigurumi:

I used three basic blues with a 3.5 mm hook

Making a circle for one side, starting to change color to make stripe

Using a half- color change technique

Top half done- I made it a bit taller

Bottom half

Two halves complete

Each tentacle is from 5-8 inches

Lots o’ tentacles

Pulling each tentacle into the half

Knotted inside and ends trimmed

Placing eyes

Stuffing and sewing shut

Top side

Surprise underneath!!

So happy together

At da beach….

With the oxygen levels dropping in the ocean as sea temperatures rise, expect to see more jellyfish (and colonies). They serve as a canary in the coal mine, if you will.

At least the signs of our stupidity will look pretty….

Keep overthinkin’ it